Friday, August 24, 2007

London

To start with, I'll give you my list of "Things you really don't want to hear", but keep on reading anyway. It's not all bad ;-)

One of the things you really don’t want to hear when you check in at the airport is that your flight is delayed. And certainly not that it is a 6 hour delay. Just to make sure that there weren’t gonna be any problems with our booking, I called the hotel to let them know that we were going to be delayed. After a pleasant flight we arrived to Gatwick in the middle of the night. Of course, things didn’t run smoothly at Gatwick either... There were problems with the luggage and we had to wait 1 hour before we even knew were to get our luggage. We had planned to take the cheapest alternative into London (a bus journey that takes an hour and a half) but decided that half an hour by train sounded much better at that time of night.
One of the things you really don’t want to hear when you’re on the way to your hotel in the middle of the night is that is a ghetto neigborhood where most part of the inhabitants are doing drugs. I admit that when the bus driver let us off at the bus stop he claimed was our stop (but it turned out to be the wrong one) I wasn’t that thrilled to be walking by crowds of suspicious looking people (at least I thought so). I had my luggage in a firm grip and felt a bit (understatement!) stressed out when we didn’t find the hotel. I was so relieved when we finally found it! However, one of the things you really don’t want to hear when you check in at the hotel is that the night portier never got any information about your previous call and wonder why you didn’t call. Anyway, we sorted that out pretty quickly and could soon crawl into bed.

After a nice breakfast we headed out to find our way to the nearest tube station. I was surprised to find out that the street we walked on the night before actually looked quite charming and the people didn’t look that suspicious any more... And I’m almost certain that the sweet old couple that helped us find our way wasn’t drug dealers or robbers. I admit that I may have a vivid imagination and a talent for stressing out, but you’ve probably already realized that by now.
We had a lovely day at the National History Museum (even though I’m not as enthusiastic about dinosaurs as my friend) and Portobello road market (I’m all into shopping on the other hand). You think it would be easy to find Portobello road, but let me tell you – it isn’t! It took us some walks up and down the streets, a stop at Starbucks and finally an embarrassing moment when I asked a very cute guy for help. After he had laughed at me, he pointed me in the right direction which was about 20 metres from where we were. However, it was worth the trouble!
We ate dinner at a Subway on Baker street. Not that healthy and not that imaginative but very tasty :-)



We had all these great plans for the evening but since we hadn't slept more than a few hours the previous night, we were exhausted. We ended up going to Piccadilly circus, walked around a bit and then we went straight back to our hotel to get some well needed sleep.

Next morning, after yet another nice breakfast we headed into the city centre once again. Since we were leaving for the airport that night, we left the luggage at Victoria station and headed out for some sightseeing. We looked at Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, London Eye and the Thames before we met up with some aussie friends for a drink at at a bar inside Victoria station.






We spent the afternoon shopping on Bond street & Oxford street (well, only window shopping at Oxford street). Our feet hurt and we were tired after walking all day, so we sat down for something to drink at Caffé Ritazza. Then we bought some food to have later on, we found lots of yummy things at Marks & Spencer, and something to read while waiting for our bus to the airport. We took the bus in the middle of the night and when we arrived at Stansted airport, we were sure that it would be very few people there. However, the terminal was full of people! People slept on the floor and by the check-in desks... It was a strange sight! We sat down on the floor as well but didn't dare fall asleep. A couple of hours later, we landed safely at Dublin city airport, but I'll save that story for another post.

I've probably forgotten lots of stuff but this post is long enough... I hope you're not to bored by now :-) Despite the problems at the beginning of the journey, I had a lovely time.

2 comments:

Kali said...

I'm so glad it was all good in the end. You know I'm the same when I'm in a strange place in the middle of the night, tired and very anxious.
You certainly packed so much into the time you were there.
I can't wait for the Dublin update.
Love Kali xo

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